Monthly Archives: January 2006

This can't possibly be interesting

This morning I took the TTC subway and bus system up to York to sign the paperwork for the first house offer (lease, not buy). A few friends who are also business partners were kind enough to fax in letters of reference (since I have no residential references having been an ex-pat recently), and it turns out that in order to save paper, the fax machine at Saira's work where they arrived was printing out on pink paper (very difficult to photocopy) with ads for “Fresh Blood” on the back.

After those were cleaned up I signed off on the offer to lease and related documents, so as of tomorrow I suppose I'll know if I'm going to take this house — if not, the big studio at Richmond and Spadina is option two. The studio is swanker in a lot of ways, albeit a bit more expensive, but I think when I include Nefarious in the equation, the house is a much better option. It's a safer location, there's at least a little yard, more clearly delineated playspace, and kids and resources in the neighborhood.

Thanks to the wishlist elves I got the first book gift of my Canadian return, Mind Hacks. It was a greatly enjoyable and quick read that I devoured almost entirely on today's travels, but I'll be checking it out again in the future. There's actually a lot in the book about how the mind works that's not just interesting trivia, but is applicable to programming because it gets you to think about complex problems in a different way when you see some of the organic solutions that have evolved.

Sorry I'm not writing much that interesting here these days. I feel like it's a little mundane perhaps… As soon as I get myself relocated where I have my own space to work in, I've got a lot of things I want to accomplish both creatively (writing here and elsewhere for both book and magazine work, and of course for BME also) and technically (overwhelmingly large and exciting plans as always).

Anyway, updates later today…

January 23, 2006

I'm starting to figure out how to use my phone (not that it's hard, I just haven't owned one in a long time) and transfer pictures off of it and all that… I'll probably use this as an excuse to finally integrate true moblogging capability into IAM*, although first I really need to upgrade the amount of storage we have. Here's some of my first pictures…

I went and voted today in Canada's federal election… It will be very interesting (and maybe a little scary) to see the way this election goes. There are a lot of tight races and there's been a great deal of fear based politics as well that makes me quite uncomfortable. I do like the simplicity of Canadian elections though — show your ID, take a ballot, mark an X in pencil, and drop it in the box. Simple and reliable and verifyable. I was in and out within a couple minutes.

I'll also have a nice big BME update posted later tonight.

Tomorrow or Wednesday I'll find out as well how my house search is going as offers begin to be submitted. Getting some letters of reference and recommendation together (because I've been out of the country and don't have a current landlord reference), and then it's time for the dreaded credit check!

* Suggestions are welcome, but basically you'd tell IAM what your mobile phone number is, and tell it where to post your pictures (ie. to a new diary entry or to a gallery on your page), with the option of doing a subsequent FTP to another server (if you've got that turned on). Maybe I'll expand the other mobile features soon too…?

Logging off for the night

I'm about to head out to look at a house at Dundas West and Bloor (not far from the old High Park apartment that Rachel and I had in 2004)… It's a three bedroom place with a couple of office rooms, and a finished basement and garage, so it has potential. I'll be making my decision on Wednesday I hope. The studio space (or one like it) is what I'd like I think, but it's more expensive so I have to decide whether I can justify the cost.

After that Saira and I are meeting up with Marty, Badur, Blair, Phil, Jordan, Tom, Angela, Jana and perhaps others at Ciro's (a restaurant owned by a friend of Saira and Michael's that carries about a hundred and fifty different kinds of beer imports). I've been working on a BME update that I'll post tomorrow, and Phil and I will certainly have one for the each of the next few days with any luck (and I'm managing to keep ModBlog updated as well).

Tomorrow is the election of course (I hope every Canadian, well the NDP ones especially, is going out and voting), which means tomorrow night is election party. For those of you who are unhappy with the Liberal party, I hope you strongly consider whether you really want to swing to the right rather than to the left. I understand that if you're not very well informed a number of policies that the Conservatives have proposed (the reduction in GST, the childcare benefit, etc.) might look good at first, but they're short-sighted and will cost you far more than you'll get back.

Most of all I want Canadians to look at America and really understand how quickly things changed when Bush was elected (and not just because of 9/11)… It only takes a very short period of time for a neo-con agenda to trash a country's economy and civil rights. I find it quite terrifying that there is a very good chance that as of tomorrow, we could have a government elected that's run by folks whose background is corporate and Republican (as in the USA) lobbying. I'd hate to see Canada scrap its civil rights advances, give its oil rights away to US corporations, close up its borders and kick out immigrants, and all the other things that have been promised if the polls are accurate.

This politics of fear and hatred that dominates the world today is a very bad thing.

Sorry if there are typos in this entry, it was posted in haste.

Just a quick post

Phil and I finally got into Toronto at about 2:30 AM last night — we were trapped on the tarmac in Chicago for a good two and a half hours (and then the cargo door of the plane froze shut)… Thankfully we were flying business class so we were well kept up in the drinks department. At the airport I bumped into my old friend Joan as a lucky coincidence.

Today I bought some winter clothes (at Canadian Tire since I've got hillbilly chic) so I won't be too cold, and am in the process of lining up various apartment options. So far I'm leaning toward a really gorgeous 3,000 square foot five bedroom (so three bedroom plus two office) studio space at Richmond and Spadina… Fingers crossed — it's really a wow American Psycho looking unit. Also considering a couple four bedroom houses in the Bloor and Bathurst area.

I got a cellphone today (a black Razr) that's $30 a month Canadian for relatively unlimited calling. If I know you like that, please drop me a message reminding me to send you my new number. Other than that, Saira and Marty and I are going to crash out, have some food (wow going to Whole Foods after being in Mexico for a year feels luxurious), and watch a movie or something…

I definitely am not thrilled that things spiralled in the direction they have for me, but I'll be damned if I make the mistake I've made in the past and get all depressed over it — my life can be great either way and I'm trying to make the best of it and have fun with my friends and family… And who knows, maybe things I've lost will return again as I fix some of the things that brought them about.

Almost "home"

Phil and I are now sitting in the Chicago airport waiting for our (only slightly delayed, at least for now) flight to Toronto and having a coffee and crumble cake… We are both rather sad, to be leaving Mexico, and of course I am sad for more obvious reasons as well. Thanks to Jordan for picking me up in Toronto in his much-needed van, and Saira for giving me a place to crash until I find a house later this week. I'm looking forward to seeing all my other Toronto friends as well.

Here's a photo of a big wind farm we flew over this afternoon: